We’re reaching the halfway point of the year and we’re looking at compiling our list of who has had a good start to 2014. When we asked you for your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter last week, a number of names were put forward including Evie, Ivelisse Velez and Sammii Jayne – all valid picks, but you’ll see if they get a nod at the start of next month.
What we have realised is that there have been quite a lot of women who have impressed in the last six months so we may be doing more write-ups than in the two previous years. That’s no bad thing, as it shows that a lot of wrestlers are improving their standings – and we’re happy to announce that some of those names are new additions.
While the year-end awards are a big thing for this website, we’re equally excited at this time of year, as it gives us a chance to look back at what has been going on. However, it also turns out that we can also get excited about what is coming up for the second half of the year.
Pretty much every one of the promotions with an emphasis on women’s wrestling has announced shows for July to December, starting with Women Superstars Uncensored presenting a show on July 12, with reigning World Champion LuFisto scheduled to make the first defence of her title against Mickie Knuckles, who on Queen and King of the Ring with Matt Tremont in May.
Fierce Females’ first supercard of the year takes place the following week. Following two “smaller” shows, Mad Maxine will take place in Glasgow, Scotland on July 20, headlined with Kay Lee Ray defending the Scottish Championship against number one contender Nikki Storm, as well as Sara-Marie Taylor and Carmel Jacob facing Leah and Kasey Owens in a Tag Team Elimination Last Woman Standing Match. NCW Femmes Fatales follows in August with Mercedes Martinez defending the International Title in a star-studded main event which will see her put the belt on the line against LuFisto, Courtney Rush and Cheerleader Melissa.
The autumn Female Fight Season is also shaping up. It starts in the UK with Bellatrix X on September 28 – you can read more about what happened on last weekend’s Bellatrix IX show below – and we jump over the Atlantic the following month. SHIMMER returns to Berwyn, IL for four more DVD tapings on October 18-19, with the promotion announcing this week that every front row seat is sold out while half of the second row is also gone, and that’s without a single match being announced – and you can expect Absolute Intense Wrestling to hold more Girls Night Out tapings – possibly on October 11. SHINE will probably have a card on October 24, while Femmes Fatales will likely have a show the following day, if previous booking dates are anything to go by – though these dates could be flipped to before SHIMMER with AIW happening afterwards.
The festivities look set to be rounded off back in the UK, as we will likely see the comeback of Pro Wrestling: EVE, who said that should all the boxes be ticked, the promotion will hold its first show in 18 months on November 1. Promoter Dann Read revealed a few weeks ago that they are planning to take EVE in a slightly different direction to how it was going before. It will be good to see the group return.
Spain’s Revolution Championship Wrestling has completed its line-up for its tournament to crown its first ever Women’s Champion and women from five different nations will be vying for the belt. The promotion is booking a number of wrestlers which it used earlier in the year, as well as some new faces to Spanish fans.
Returning are Scotland’s Bete Noire as well as Northern Irish twins Kasey and Leah Owens, while Noire’s fellow Scots Nikki Storm and Kay Lee Ray will also be making the trip. England will also be represented in the form of Pollyanna Peppers, and mainland Europe will also have a contingent with Germany’s Lady Lory and Greece’s Blue Nikita also competing.
The tournament itself is slightly different to a regular single elimination format with quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final match. Instead, there will be four qualifying matches, with the winners going forward to the final to compete in a four-way Ladder Match with the title suspended over the ring.
Spain has always felt somewhat quiet in the women’s wrestling world, but RCW appears to be changing that by having a titleholder and is presumably looking to have regular title matches to build up its division. It could also be segued into creating its own Spanish stars, which helps the continent as a whole.
While North America and Japan have always had a strong focus by women’s wrestling fans, and Australia also gets deserved respect, there is a lot to pay attention to in Europe. The UK has scores of female grapplers these days, while Scandinavia has a great core of women like Miss Mina, Aurora Flame, Sara Elektra and Jessica Love. Germany has Blue Nikita and Lady Lory, as well as others like Melanie Grey and Svetlana Kalashnikova, and you have the likes of X-Cute Sweet, Morgane Leigh, Eloanne and Shanna residing in France. There are others dotted about like Laura Wellings in Switzerland and Cindy Sanders in Belarus. In short, there’s another hotbed of talent for fans of women’s wrestling to absorb.
Got any news, results or upcoming events that you want to tell everyone about? Are you a female wrestler looking to tell us about upcoming bookings? Are you a fan who went to a show and saw a match, and would like to tell others about it – what you liked, what you didn’t and would like to encourage others to check it out for themselves? Would you want to discuss your feelings on any particular subject about women’s wrestling as part of The Soap Box? Send us an email!
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Layla returned the favour after Summer Rae poured milk over her head on last week’s Raw. She attacked Summer during an interview on Main Event and poured milk and cat litter over her head. You wouldn’t see the men doing this. Summer hit back on SmackDown by dressing up as one of Adam Rose’s Rosebuds and going after Layla during Rose’s win over Fandango, and then Rae & Rose defeated Layla & Fandango on Raw – incidentally, Kaitlin Diemond worked as a Rosebud on Raw, while she, Beautiful Beaa, Alexia Nicole and SheNayNay were all part of the entourage over the weekend’s house shows… Aksana was released from WWE last Thursday – she was the sole Diva out of the 11 who were let go. Her final match was on SmackDown when she was beaten by Alicia Fox… Bayley got a pinfall win over NXT Women’s Champion Charlotte on last week’s episode of NXT as part of a six woman tag match featuring Bayley, Paige & Emma against the Beautiful Fierce Females trio of Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Summer Rae. The heels bickered afterwards… Charlotte has been announced for the July 12 house show in Madison Square Garden in New York City… AJ Lee married CM Punk last weekend… Tamina Snuka is already riding an exercise bike, just a week after surgery on her left ACL and meniscus… WWE producer Kevin Dunn is reportedly a big supporter of Alicia Fox… There was a women’s tryout session at the Performance Center last week. Word is that most of the participants were models, but reports say Canada’s Jasmin as well as Americans Hania and D’Arcy Dixon attended… Alexa Bliss spoke to WWE.com about a range of things like her cheerleading background but also her eating disorder which saw her hospitalised when her heartrate slowed to a mere 28 beats a minute after losing 30 pounds in a month and a half. Like Torrie Wilson, she beat her eating disorder by getting into fitness and bodybuilding… Vickie Guerrero revealed that daughter Shaul (former NXT Diva Raquel Diaz) has started veterinary school. She was released on April 30… Chyna tweeted Paige during last night’s Raw to say that she was impressed by her and the PTO finisher… Vickie Guerrero was involved in a situation on Raw where she has been relegated to being a gofer for the Authority, and sneezed on Triple H’s and Stephanie McMahon’s coffee, but didn’t make a fresh one. She also put Roman Reigns into a Money in the Bank qualifier battle royal against the wishes of the power couple, making the decision because they had left the building after Reigns had spiked the coffees with something that made Stephanie shout soup. F4W reports that this is an angle to write her off TV… The Bella Twins were part of a “Bella Bombs” video where they ran down “gross” Divas and were acting like bitchy heels. It was needlessly spiteful and nasty. They took the mickey out of Jillian Hall’s singing and Michelle McCool’s “flawless” gimmick. Hall tweeted earlier today, saying “WWE definitely knows how to kick someone when they’re down.”. Weird that Brie is part of this, considering she “quit” earlier this month.
Gail Kim spoke to the Queen Tribune last week to hype TNA’s Impact tapings in New York later this month. When asked about retirement, she replied “One thing I’ve always said is that I want to retire when I’m on top.” She also said that three wrestlers were big influences in her career – Molly Holly, who introduced her to WWE officials, Rey Mysterio, who inspired her high-flying, and Chris Benoit for how to cut promos. A strange choice, considering Benoit was hardly a great orator… Kim beat Brittany and Madison Rayne in a 3-way to gain a shot at the Knockouts Championship at Slammiversary. Gail got the win after the Beautiful People’s interference backfired – they had been trying to help Brittany to win in order to spite Madison Rayne. Gail lost the Slammiversary match when referee Brian Stifler intentionally favoured Love due to his affection toward the Beautiful People. Didn’t we have this storyline with Madison Rayne and Earl Hebner less than two years ago?… Taryn Terrell will return to Impact Wrestling this Thursday.
The first round matches have been announced for the IWA Mid-South Queen of the Deathmatches tournament on June 28. Heidi Lovelace faces Hudson Envy in a TLC Match (standing for Tacks, Ladders and Canes); Ludark Shaitan takes on Thunderkitty in a Hardcore Bondage Deathmatch with a barbed wire collar and cat o’ninetails on a pole, and Randi West against Rebecca Payne in a Your Ass Is Glass Deathmatch featuring panes of glass, bundles of lighttubes and pits of glass. Mickie Knuckles has been forced to bow out of the IWA Mid South Queen of the Deathmatches tournament as the recovery from her ankle surgery isn’t going as quickly as originally hoped, even though it’s healing well. She was meant to face Kiki Rose in a Barefoot, Four Corners of Pain match featuring thumbtacks, lighttubes, mousetraps and rubbing alcohol… Elsewhere, LuFisto will now face Jordynne Grace in non-tournament action instead of Angelus Layne, who is still recovering from two broken wrists… Lucy Mendez is the number one contender for Mickie Knuckles’ RESISTANCE Pro Women’s Championship after beating Crazy Mary Dobson on Friday… Former WWE Divas Kelly Kelly and Candice Michelle attended last weekend’s House of Hardcore event which fellow former colleague Maria Kanellis worked on.
Risa Sera broke down in tears after being unable to wrest the Ice Ribbon ICEx∞ Championship from the iron grasp of Tsukasa Fujimoto at Hiroshima Ribbon on Sunday… Cheerleader Melissa is one of the 10 wrestlers announced so far for the Stardom 5*STAR GP2014 series taking place in August. The other participants are Io Shirai, Nanae Takahashi, Yoshiko, Kairi Hojo, Takumi Iroha, Kaori Yoneyama, Kyoko Kimura, Alpha Female and Star Fire.
Saraya Knight revealed on the most recent Women of Wrestling Podcast that she broke her back in March 2013 and didn’t know until it was confirmed in an MRI just before Christmas. She also revealed that she has osteoarthritis in her back, though also admitted that because of stretching, it feels better than it has in a long time… Sammi Baynz told our Fight Like A Girl interview that she feels envious of former tag team partner Paige’s success, as she feels she could be in WWE had she not bowed out – one time due to falling pregnant – and also admitted that she cried at the Raw in London as she felt that she missed her shot… Speaking of Baynz, she and Blue Nikita will wrestle again at Bellatrix X on September 28 after their hardcore match for Sammi’s RQW European Women’s Championship at last Sunday’s Bellatrix IX show ended in a double knockout. Elsewhere on the card, Lady Lory won the Queen of the Ring tournament, defeating Penelope, Saraya Knight and Liberty. Former Queen Destiny claimed that she’s still the rightful monarch… Alicia Fox put together a care package for Karama, who wrestled the youth club exhibition matches at Bellatrix VIII & IX. The 11-year old is a big Fox fan… Kasey Owens made her return to the ring on Sunday following a period out with a broken bone in her foot. She was defeated by Nikki Storm at Target Wrestling’s show… Hikaru Shida will wrestle Shanna on October 3 for 4 Front Wrestling’s show in Swindon, England.
Australia & New Zealand
Shazza McKenzie won the PWWA Championship from Evie on Saturday, defeating her with a hangman variant of the Shaztastic Stunner… Savannah Summers and Toni Storm earned a shot at Demi Bennett’s Riot City Wrestling Women’s Championship by winning matches on Melbourne City Wrestling’s Saturday show. Bennett beat them both in a 3-way… Evie battles Carmen Rose on July 5’s Impact Pro Wrestling show. Elsewhere on the card, Britenay & Liam Fury square off against Olivia Shaw & Brook Duncan.
June 11: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Tokyo, Japan) – Cherry & Shuu Shibutani b Natsu Sumire & Rina Yamashita; Moeka Haruhi v Sawako Shimono went to a time limit draw; Tomoka Nakagawa v Yumi Ohka went to a time limit draw; Kana, Misaki Ohata & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Ayako Hamada, Fairy Nihonbashi & Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru; Hiroyo Matsumoto b Mio Shirai; Kyoko Kimura b Yuu Yamagata; Hikaru Shida v Mika Iida went to a time limit draw
June 11: Ohio Valley Wrestling (Louisville, KY) – Lei’D Tapa & Royal Red b Jessie Belle & Deonta Davis
June 12: TNA Impact Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Gail Kim b Brittany & Madison Rayne in a 3-way
June 12: WWE NXT (Winter Park, FL) – Bayley, Paige & Emma b Summer Rae, Charlotte & Sasha Banks
June 12: NWA Florida Underground Wrestling (Bradenton, FL) – Su Yung b Cherry Lane & La Rosa Negra in a 3-way
June 13: WWE SmackDown (Green Bay, WI) – Alicia Fox b Aksana
June 13: RESISTANCE Pro (Willowbrook, IL) – Lucy Mendez b Crazy Mary Dobson; Camron Star & Lylah Lodge b Angel Dust & Samantha Heights
June 13: Rockstar Pro Wrestling (Dayton, OH) – Mikael b Lufisto via DQ
June 13: New England Championship Wrestling (Everett, MA) – Nikki Valentine b Toxis
June 13: All Pro Wrestling (Daly City, CA) – Cheerleader Melissa b Reby Sky
June 13: Lucha Libre Femenil (Monterrey, Mexico) – Candy Girl b Jade; Amazona b Katary; Sadica b Estrella Explosiva; Alicia & Angelica b Lady Flamer & Tsunami
June 14: Wrestling New Classic (Tokyo, Japan) – Kaho Kobayashi b Koharu Hinata; Syuri, Command Bolshoi & Makoto b La Comandante, Lin Byron & Alex Lee; Dump Matsumoto b TAJIRI via DQ
June 14: Ice Ribbon (Saitama, Japan) – Yume Hayashi b Kyuri; 235 & Manami Kanda b Akane Fujita & Aoi Ishibashi; Miyako Matsumoto b Akiba Shiori; Kurumi & Tsukasa Fujimoto b Yuri Kotobuki & Yuuka
June 14: Pro Wrestling Alliance (Casula, Australia) – Shazza McKenzie b Evie to win the PWWA Championship
June 14: Melbourne City Wrestling (Tullamarine, Australia) – Savannah Summers b Miki Fortune; Toni Storm b Siren Monroe; Blair Alexis b Minzy Montana; Demi Bennett b Toni Storm & Savannah Summers; in a 3-way Miami def KC Cassidy
June 14: Vendetta Pro Wrestling (Simi Valley, CA) – Hudson Envy, Tyler Bateman & Sledge b Sage Sin, Bo Cooper & JD Horror
June 14: I Believe In Wrestling (Orlando, FL) – Brittany b Johnny Stooge
June 14: Destination 1 Wrestling (New Albany, IN) – Trash Cassidy b Samantha Heights
June 14: WWE (Hamilton, ON, Canada) – Paige b Alicia Fox & Natalya in a 3-way
June 14: WWE (Grand Rapids, MI) – Summer Rae, Naomi & Cameron b Layla, Eva Marie & Rosa Mendes
June 15: Stardom (Tokyo, Japan) – Maaya b Azumi; Kagetsu b Koguma; Kairi Hojo & Mayu Iwatani b Hatuhinode Kamen & Kaori Yoneyama; Io Shirai & Takumi Iroha b Hiroyo Matsumoto & Miho Wakizawa; Kyoko Kimura & Alpha Female b Nanae Takahashi & Yoshiko
June 15: Pro Wrestling WAVE (Osaka, Japan) – Mio Shirai & Natsu Sumire b Mika Iida & Shuu Shibutani; Rina Yamashita b Kaho Kobayashi; Tomoka Nakagawa b Sakura Hirota; Ayako Hamada, Fairy Nihonbashi, Kyusei Ninja Ranmaru & Mayumi Ozaki b Cherry, Hibiscus Mii, Hikaru Shida & Kana; Misaki Ohata b Sawako Shimono; Yumi Ohka b Yuu Yamagata
June 15: Ice Ribbon (Hiroshima, Japan) – 235 & Akiba Shiori b Hayashi Koyuki & Kyuri; Meari Naito b Akane Fujita; Hamuko Hoshi b Manami Katsu; Neko Nitta & Rey Paloma b Yuko Miyamoto & Yuri Kotobuki; Arisa Nakajima & Command Bolshoi b Maki Narumiya & Miyako Matsumoto; Tsukasa Fujimoto b Risa Sera
June 15: Target Wrestling (Kendal, Scotland) – Nikki Storm b Kasey Owens
June 15: Premier British Wrestling (Largs, Scotland) – Kay Lee Ray b Red Lightning
June 15: Bellatrix 9 (Norwich, England) – Saraya Knight b Bacardi; Lady Lory b Penelope; Erin Angel b Amy-Lee Kramer; Liberty b Skarlett; Lady Lory b Saraya Knight; Liberty b Erin Angel; Karama, Tia Valentine, Luminous & Lorna b Holly Burrage, Madison, Holly Norman & Elsie; Lady Lory b Liberty; Blue Nikita v Sammi Baynz went to a double knockout
June 15: TNA Slammiversary (Arlington, TX) – Angelina Love b Gail Kim
June 15: WWE (Erie, PA) – Paige b Alicia Fox & Natalya in a 3-way
June 15: Squared Circle Wrestling (Whitby, ON, Canada) – Alexia Nicole b Jasmin; Seleziya Sparx b Pinkie Sanchez, John Greed, Brent Banks, JAKA & El Hijo del Bigote in a 6-way
June 15: CMLL (Mexico City, Mexico) – Estrellita, La Vaquerita & Marcela b Dalys, La Seductora & Princesa Blanca via DQ
June 16: Kana Produce ProMania Reach (Tokyo, Japan) – Kanjyouro Matsuyama & Shuu Shibutani b Hamuko Hoshi & Kikutaro; Arisa Nakajima v Hikaru Shida went to a time limit draw; Meiko Satomura & Minoru Suzuki b Kana & Naomichi Marufuji
June 16: WWE Raw (Cleveland, OH) – Adam Rose & Summer Rae b Fandango & Layla; Paige b Cameron
June 16: CMLL (Puebla, Mexico) – Amapola, Princesa Blanca & Zeuxis b Estrellita, Goya Kong & Princesa Sugheit via DQ
June 21: Pacific Pro Wrestling (Acacia Ridge, Australia) – Sara Jay v Kellyanne English
June 21: Great Bear Promotions (Middlewich, England) – Nixon v Lana Austin
June 21: Scottish Wrestling Alliance (Beith, Scotland) – Debbie Sharpe & Viper v Bete Noire & Sammii Jayne
June 21: Remix Pro Wrestling (Marietta, OH) – Allysin Kay v Sassy Stephie
June 22: Full Impact Pro (Maitland, FL) – Ivelisse Velez v Candice LeRae
June 27: True Grit Wrestling (Leeds, England) – Violet O’Hara v Lana Austin
June 27: SHINE 20 (Ybor City, FL) – Sassy Stephie & Jessie Belle Smothers v Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb v Malia Hosaka & Brandi Wine v Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling; Su Yung v Justine Silver; Leah Von Dutch v Amber O’Neal; Taylor Made v La Rosa Negra; Nevaeh v Candice LeRae; Jessicka Havok v Allysin Kay; Leva Bates & Mia Yim v TBA; Ivelisse Velez v Serena Deeb
June 28: Warzone Wrestling (Wendouree, Australia) – Savannah Summers v Siren Monroe v Harley Wonderland
June 28: IWA Mid South Queen of the Deathmatches (New Albany, IN) – LuFisto v Jordynne Grace
June 29: Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Queen of Queens (Austin, TX)
June 29: Absolute Intense Wrestling (Cleveland, OH) – Veda Scott v Gregory Iron
July 1: Pure Wrestling Association (Cambridge, ON, Canada) – Kc Spinelli v Beautiful Beaa
July 5: Impact Pro Wrestling (Lynfield, New Zealand) – Evie v Carmen Rose; Britenay & Liam Fury v Olivia Shaw & Brook Duncan
July 6: British Empire Wrestling (London, England) – Dragonita v Dean Michael; Toni Storm v Kasey Owens
July 12: German Hurricane Wrestling (Nauheim, Germany) – Svetlana Kalashnikova v Stella
July 12: Empress Pro Wrestling (High Wycombe, England) – Pollyanna Peppers v Rhia O’Reilly
July 12: Women Superstars Uncensored (Voorhees, NJ) – LuFisto v Mickie Knuckles
July 19: Valkyrie Women’s Wrestling (Brooklyn, NY) – Kimber Lee v Cherry Bomb; La Rosa Negra v Nevaeh
July 20: Fierce Females (Glasgow, Scotland) – Leah & Kasey Owens v Sara Marie Taylor & Carmel Jacob; Kay Lee Ray v Nikki Storm
August 9: Southside Wrestling (Nottingham, England) – Martin Kirby v Kay Lee Ray
August 16: NCW Femmes Fatales XV (Montreal, QC, Canada) – Mercedes Martinez v LuFisto v Cheerleader Melissa v Courtney Rush
September 28: Bellatrix X (Norwich, England) – Sammi Baynz v Blue Nikita
October 3: 4 Front Wrestling (Swindon, England) – Shanna v Hikaru Shida
October 18-19: SHIMMER: Women Athletes (Berwyn, IL)
– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE (3), Youji Kawauchi (5), Tabercil (6)
– Data collated from (but not limited to) Cagematch, joshifans.com, PuroLove, Dramatic DDT, Luchablog, Lords Of Pain, Wrestling Observer, Open The Puroresu Gate, Ringstars, PWInsider, NHB Girls, North Starz, WrestlingData